Patience a virtue for Derrick Rose's comeback process

Derrick Rose’s future flashed before everyone’s eyes when he suffered a torn ACL in Game 1 of the Chicago Bulls’ first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. In an instant, the point guard collapsed to the court, taking his team’s championship aspirations with him, and left many wondering whether he would be the same explosive player ever again.

Since Rose sustained the gruesome injury – one that had the “career-threatening” label attached to it not too long ago – most observers believed the All-Star would be out six to nine months, but a clear time frame was not available.

On Sunday, Rose passed the first major hurdle of his recovery, undergoing successful surgery on the torn ACL in his left knee. As promised, the Bulls released more information regarding Rose’s prognosis on Tuesday afternoon. Dr. Brian Cole, who performed the procedure on Rose, told reporters at Rush University Medical Center that the formulated timetable will sideline Rose for eight to 12 months, a slate that would allow him to return as early as January or as late as May.

The Bulls will err on the side of caution throughout the process, and their brass said the organization is committed to a hands-on approach with Rose, who will continue to rehabilitate in Chicago for now. Rose could head to Los Angeles, his usual offseason training spot, later in the summer, but, regardless, a member of the Bulls’ staff will accompany him at all times.

Although Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Rose is in good spirits and that the franchise is optimistic, he admitted he is not planning as if Rose will return at some point next season. What’s also clear is that it will take Rose an extended period of time – potentially up to an entire season – to regain his old form, the level of play he exhibited in 2010-11 when he became the youngest MVP in NBA history.

Even so, the Bulls believe Rose will come back stronger than ever, due, in part, to the fact that the homegrown product is just 23 years old.

“Statistically, he should be [the same] player, and then some,” Cole told the assembled media. “… Age is absolutely in his favor. We do everything possible with the things that we can control to stimulate healing, and the best part about it is that he’s 23 and he has outstanding healing potential.”

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